U.S. Feds Seize 800 Pounds of Cocaine from Armed Smugglers in Caribbean Sea

CBP Air and Marine Operations seizes more than 800 pounds of cocaine. (Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Air and Marine Operations)
Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Air and Marine Operations

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations aircrew teamed up with Coast Guard vessels to interdict a drug smuggling operation in the Caribbean Sea near the coast of Puerto Rico, officials stated.

During a nighttime patrol on the evening of November 23, a CBP AMO aircrew spotted a wooden vessel running without lights approaching Arecibo, Puerto Rico, according to information obtained from Air and Marine Operations officials. The airborne agents contacted the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos and a USCG Small Interceptor to interdict the “yola” type wooden vessel.

As the Coast Guard approached, two men jumped out of the boat in an attempt to avoid apprehension, officials stated. When the Coast Guard stopped the boat, they found one person left on board. The boat was hauling 13 bales of drugs. The other two men were retrieved from the water.

Officials identified the drugs as cocaine, the report continues. The 816 pounds of cocaine has an estimated street value of $10 million.

“Transnational criminal organizations attempt to smuggle narcotics in different locations throughout our island testing our resolve,” stated Johnny Morales, Director, Air and Marine Operations for the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch, in a written statement. “Our agents continue to use advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities to detect and interdict them throughout our coastal borders.”

The Coast Guard crew arrested the three Dominican nationals and transported them to Arecibo for processing. Caribbean Corridor Strike Force agents took custody of the drugs and the alleged smugglers.

“This successful interdiction is the result of the hard work and dedication of the all the federal and state partners committed to eliminate illicit trafficking from the waters of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” stated CAPT Jose E. Diaz- Deputy Commander.  “Keeping dangerous drugs off the streets save lives; today, Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, and FURA crews saved lives.”

During Fiscal Year 2020, which ended on September 30, AMO air and boat crews participated in the seizure of 113,256 pounds of cocaine. During October, agents seized another 9,177 pounds of cocaine, according to a report from CBP officials.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s Sunday-morning talk show, What’s Your Point? Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Parler @BobPrice, and Facebook.

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